Feature | Food

A Diner's Guide to Diners

Scouring the state in search of the quintessential lunch counter experience

East Side Monthly Magazine ·

Jigger’s Diner

Come to Jigger’s Diner for a slice of Americana and stay for the johnny cakes. If you’ve never had a johnny cake, get your butt down to East Greenwich, plop yourself down at the counter and order a stack. Using Kenyon’s Mill cornmeal, which has four centuries of RI culinary history, these flat cakes perfectly sop up as much real maple syrup as you can pour on it.

145 Main Street, East Greenwich. 884-6060, jiggersdiner.com

Blue Plate Diner

This is your classic diner: neon lights, big comfy booths and heaping plates of comfort food, complete with murals like, “Thou shalt sit at the counter.” There’s one twist, though: adult beverages. They’ve got a full bar and even serve up spiked milkshakes, which makes dining here feel more like you’re at a real, bonafide New Jersey diner.

665 W Main Road, Middletown. 848-9500, blueplatedinerri.com

The Modern Diner

On the US National Register of Historic Places, the Modern Diner is one of two remaining Sterling Streamliner diners (the other is in Salem, MA) and has been a fixture in Pawtucket since 1941. You know what hasn’t been around since 1941? Their wall of daily specials. Although there are plenty of stellar staples like their face-sized pancakes and hash, there’s something special about ordering off menu. And you’ll never know who you’ll rub elbows with, literally. Close quarters’ dining gives you the opportunity to get to know regulars and first time visitors alike.

364 East Avenue, Pawtucket. 726-8390

Patriots Diner

“Let’s go to Woonsocket,” is a phrase you may not hear all too often. Well, maybe that will change the next time you’re driving around at 3 in the morning and need a homemade meal. Open 24/7, a must-try at the Patriots Diner is the chicken pot pie. It’s like a deconstructed version of a traditional pot pie, with chicken, turkey gravy, potatoes, carrots and peas topped with a flaky piece of puff pastry. With this and other huge portion entrees, you’ll come hangry and leave happy.

65 Founders Drive, Woonsocket. 765-6900, patriotsdiner.com

The Commons Lunch

Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing “common” about The Commons Lunch. This quaint and homey nook has been a quiet retreat in rural Rhody since 1966. Try the breakfast johnny cakes, which are thinner and crispier than their South County counterparts, and of course the clam cakes and chowder. And a trip here just wouldn’t be complete without trying their lobster roll: fresh lobster mixed with a little mayo. Why complicate a classic?

48 Commons, Little Compton. 635-4388

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